A few days ago, we posted an article on the now-viral photo of a Taco Bell employee running his tongue up a stack of taco shells that one could assume were served to customers sooner or later.
Well, fame has its price and now the taco licking employee along with his photographer co-worker have been fired.
“We do not believe these employees harmed, or intended to harm, anyone,” Taco Bell said in a statement Tuesday. “But we deplore the impressions this has caused to our customers, fans, franchisees, and team members. The behavior is unacceptable for people working in a restaurant.”
“Our franchisee is responsible for the employment and conduct of his restaurant’s employees and he has informed us that he immediately suspended the employee shown in the photo and is in the process of terminating his employment. The employee who took the photo no longer works there. As we complete our investigation we will work with our franchisee to implement any additional action we find appropriate to address this situation and ensure it never happens again.”
Taco Bell then assured us that the shells in the photo were not given to any customers in this post on its official website:
“The taco shells were used for training in March before we launched a new product, and were in process of being thrown out. Two employees, however, used them to take a photo for an internal contest in which company and franchise employees could submit for approval photos of themselves enjoying their first bite of the product.”
“The contest had clear guidelines about what was acceptable and unacceptable. This image was clearly unacceptable – it violated the rules and spirit of the contest, and the employees never submitted it. But an employee posted it on a personal social media page in violation of the franchisee’s policies, and it emerged online in social media.”
Taco Bell’s corporate public relations officials refused to identify where the photo was taken.
Too bad the manager of the Taco Bell in Ridgecrest, California confirmed on Monday that it happened there.
“We’re currently dealing with it,” said Cathy Marx, the manager at Ridgecrest told CNBC.